Geneva, Houston counties named ‘Very High Risk’ counties for COVID-19


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — COVID-19 risk levels for the Wiregrass have changed once again as of July 3.

Coffee and Henry counties have been downgraded to moderate and low risk levels respectively, but Houston and Geneva counties have been upgraded to “very high risk” levels.

However, one thing to consider is that the risk level dashboard’s data lag by five days and show snapshots of the previous week, not the current state of things. It gets updated every Friday.

“With it only being updated weekly, we could be dealing with 12-day old data (if we figured that right.),” said James Brown, director of the Coffee County Emergency Management Agency, in an email Wednesday. “So, we are afraid this could show artificially inflated or deflated COVID risk for the current period.” 

  • Houston County — High Risk
  • Geneva County — High Risk
  • Barbour County — High Risk
  • Coffee County — Moderate Risk
  • Covington County — Moderate Risk
  • Dale County — Moderate Risk
  • Pike County — High Risk
  • Henry County — High Risk
  • Butler County — Moderate Risk
  • Crenshaw County — Very High Risk

The Alabama Department of Public Health considered four factors when determining a county’s risk level:

  • Declining new cases
  • Percent of positives declining
  • Testing goal
  • Number of visits for COVID-like symptoms.   

According to the ADPH, Houston County’s new case rate per 100,000 people shot up to record highs on June 24 and 25, the highest they’ve been since early April. The percent of those testing positive also shot up to 10.66 percent from June 21 to June 27.

However, the county has continued to meet its testing goal, and the percent of visits for COVID-19-like symptoms were trending down since the 25th.

Geneva County also saw record highs for its new case rate from June 24 to June 26. Meanwhile, the positive test percentage rose to 12.66 percent last week.

The county, like Houston County, was still meeting its testing goal at the time. However, the percent of visits for coronavirus symptoms show no trend as it goes from a certain amount to periods of no visits over several days.

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